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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff Welcome Guest
    Mel's Odd Stuff
          Just a bunch of odds and ends. Life is strange sometimes, so this will probably be strange, too...

    Wed, Aug 30th - 2:31AM

    Predestination?



    Well, I have looked at predestination this way:  Just because I am capable of doing something, does not mean that I will do something.  I am a free will person.  Is God bound more than I?  I think not!

    Let me put it another way.

    Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

     12 as far as the east is from the west,
           so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)

     31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
           "when I will make a new covenant
           with the house of Israel
           and with the house of Judah.

     32 It will not be like the covenant
           I made with their forefathers
           when I took them by the hand
           to lead them out of Egypt,
           because they broke my covenant,
           though I was a husband to  them, "
           declares the LORD.

     33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
           after that time," declares the LORD.
           "I will put my law in their minds
           and write it on their hearts.
           I will be their God,
           and they will be my people.

     34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
           or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
           because they will all know me,
           from the least of them to the greatest,"
           declares the LORD.
           "For I will forgive their wickedness
           and will remember their sins no more.
    "

    Matthew 24:36 (NIV)

     36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

    Does this paint it clearer?  God can choose to forget my sins.  Jesus doesn't know the day or the hour.  In the strictest sense, those things would seem to go against the omniscient nature of God.  The predestination thing is rooted in that to some extent, although not entirely so.  Worldly Logic!  It quickly becomes a circle that cannot be fathomed!  No, God has as much will as I do in this.  Is my choice diminished if he absolutely knows how I am going to choose and order the steps of my path?  I don't buy into that train of thought.  And I think God still has choices as well!

    Here is something to do to make this thought concrete for you.  I think it is a dim image, but one we can grasp.  Determine to put in one hand a penny and the other a quarter. (actually anything will do -- I am choosing two things my children would like me to give to them and ask for, depending on what they want it for, one may be more what they desire at the momment)  Have one child write Left or Right on a piece of paper and show that to you.  Have them fold the piece of paper up, so that it cannot be read.  Ask the child to offer it to their sibling or friend.  Ask that child if they want what is in the hand written on the paper, or the other hand.  The momment they choose, you know what that choice will lead to, before they do.  You will know the hand they have choosen.  They will not.  They have no idea what that choice will bring them.  Does it diminsh their ability to choose?  No!  Neither does God diminish our ability to choose, even though in his case, he could know what the first child was going to write before they did so, and the other whether they would take that choice or the other!  Yet their ability to still choose is undiminished, from where we stand!  And if God should choose to forget my sin...

    Like Bob said:  That is my understanding now.  I could be wrong.  If I am, I hope you will be willing to choose to help me change it...

    Don't make your head hurt on silly stuff like this!

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (1)

    Tue, Aug 29th - 4:20AM

    Just because I have a gift, does that mean it is all I can do for God?



    Romans 12:7 (NIV)

    7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;

     

    I remember someone saying something along the lines of if God had intended for Billy Graham to be a ditch digger, Billy Graham probably would have been the very best ditch digger he could be.  This passage brought that back to my mind and something else as well.  I thought about Billy Graham mowing his own yard or changing his own oil on his car.  Maybe he does do that.  I don’t know.  Would it be a waste of his time and talent?  I ask that in all seriousness, because I do both, but if I had the means to do something else, I would not take the precious time to do so.  Unfortunately, I have to admit, I am likely to use that time for some other selfish reason, not for furthering the kingdom of God, but I digress.  It is interesting to me that these two extremes of nobility, as seen in human terms, are put side by side like this.  I don’t think that is an accidental thing.  A side message about sober understanding of your worth is in there as well.

    I'll have to get back to this...

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (4)

    Wed, Aug 23rd - 1:37AM

    The Good, The Bad, and God's Will...



    Romans 12:6-9 (Amplified Bible)

    6Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

        7[He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

        8He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

        9[Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good.

    Numbers 11:27-29 (Amplified Bible)

    27And a young man ran to Moses and said, Eldad and Medad are prophesying [sounding forth the praises of God and declaring His will] in the camp.

        28Joshua son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, My lord Moses, forbid them!

        29But Moses said to him, Are you envious or jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!

    Mark 9:38-40 (Amplified Bible)

    38John said to Him, Teacher, we saw a man who does not follow along with us driving out demons in Your name, and we forbade him to do it, because he is not one of our band [of Your disciples].

        39But Jesus said, Do not restrain or hinder or forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me.

        40For he who is not against us is for us.

    Judges 8:27 (Amplified Bible)

    27And Gideon made an ephod [a sacred, high priest's garment] of it, and put it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel paid homage to it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.

    John 4:23 (Amplified Bible)

    23A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.

    Did Gideon intend for the people to worship the ephod?  I don't think that was his intention,  but that is what happened.  How about those casting out demons in Jesus' name?  Were their motivations pure?  (maybe, maybe not)  But it was God's Will to allow them to do that and continue to do so.
     
    So what does our motivation have to do with God's Will?  Nothing to make a dent in His Will.  Everything for us!
     
    Continue to do good, don't get me wrong!  Try to get your heart into it, for that is what is truely important.  Make Your Will to be His Will. Use your talents as they are given to you to do so...
     
    In Christ,
     
    Mel


    Comment (2)

    Tue, Aug 22nd - 5:25PM

    Maybe I'll Find Scripture for this...



    Just Dropped in on one of our newest bloggers:

    http://members.christiansunite.com/members/blog/jmilty/

    Living In The Rockies by John Miltenberger.  Thoughts about fear and dis-couragement.  We all have that and are aware or unaware of it in different measures.  So, I thought I'd throw out a few quotes in a light-hearted way.  If you have scripture to support of refute, hey chime right in!

     

    Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave. ~~Mark Twain

    Courage is the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. ~~C. S. Lewis

    Courage is grace under pressure. ~~Ernest Hemingway

    You can't test courage cautiously.  ~~Anne Dillard

    Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway.  ~~John Wayne

    Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  ~~Dorothy Bernard

    Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.  ~~Mary Anne Radmacher

    Let Grace Give us Courage,

    Mel



    Comment (2)

    Sun, Aug 20th - 6:17PM

    Children Teach



    My daughter Lylli Mae's birthday was today.  Her cousin helped her get ready by painting her nails.  Lylli put some little stick on decorations on them.  Now some can ridicule this, but I allow it at this point.  I am not led to see it as evil.  This is not the point of this, although if someone wants to address it, by all means do so!

    Before going to church, she was wrapping her fingernails in clear plastic and putting tape around them "to protect them" as she saw it.  We were going to go out to lunch with the family and she did not want them to get messed up.  I do not think her intentions were wrong, but I told her NO.  Take off the plastic and tape.  I even will consider that my motivations may have been more for the appearance of what she was doing than anything else, and so her motivations may have even been better than my own.

    However, I said NO, and did not tary with detailed explanation.  (which is uncharacteristic of me -- if my children ask 'why', I will generally answer.)  I think my authority on the matter stands, nonetheless, although I was bothered by this little exchange.

    This is instructive for me to think about how we are sometimes told NO by our heavenly father, even when we think what we are doing is good, and we are not always going to get an answer to the question 'why?'  Does this invalidate his authority?  I think not, but I also think we loose sight of this all too easily.

    Just a weird little tidbit I thought I'd put down before I forgot about it...

    Serving in His Name,

    Mel



    Comment (3)

    Sat, Aug 12th - 1:54AM

    Who Do you Trust? Is the Truth in Them?



    Sometimes I am compelled to write for great joy.  At other times, it is because of a burden on my heart – sometimes for myself, sometimes for others.  This is a little of all of that, and maybe more.

     

    I wrote a bit of a harsh response to Alice Lewis on her Blog, Through it All

     

    http://members.christiansunite.com/members/blog/alicelewis/

     

    I don’t think my message was wrong, but my delivery could have been better.  That is probably the driving motivation for my writing here.

     

    The first question I have is this:

     

    Who do you trust, and where will they lead you?

     

    2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NIV)

     

     1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

     

    I seek the answers out on my own when I can.  I think that is appropriate.

     

    Proverbs 18:15 (NIV)

     

     15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
           the ears of the wise seek it out.

     

    At other times it is good to get teaching and advice.  But it is important to ask yourself who is teaching you and should you trust them?

     

    Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

     

     20 Listen to advice and accept instruction,
           and in the end you will be wise.

     

    Can any of us ever reach the end of knowledge here in this life?  I don’t think so!

     

    Ecclesiastes 8:17 (NIV)

     

    17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

     

    So says the wisest of us, and if you hold the scriptures to be true, that would be Solomon, the writer of this passage, and even he could not understand it all.

     

    Should we not seek to understand deeper meanings?  Nope.  I am not saying that.  Should we compare what we are taught to the scriptures on our own?  Yes.  That is the thing to do.  What made the Bereans more noble?  They searched the scriptures.  For themselves.

     

    Is there a limit?

     

    In my understanding, yes.

     

    Ecclesiastes 12:11-13 (NIV)

     

     11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
          Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. (emphasis mine)

     13 Now all has been heard;
           here is the conclusion of the matter:
           Fear God and keep his commandments,
           for this is the whole duty of man.

     

    I think this holds true of even study of the scripture, and the reading of motivational books.  Do as you are lead to and enabled, but don’t push yourself or others with a burden of guilt.  If you are not reading at least one passage a day, I have a hard time thinking of that as a burden that will make you weary, but if you are studying 4 or 5 hours a day and that is not your calling, that just might.  But do not let me discourage you from doing as you purposed to do!

     

    1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (NIV)

     

    11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

     13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

     

    And yet, this growth does not come on it’s own.  I’ll toss out a few more Proverbs.

     

    Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)

     

     20 He who walks with the wise grows wise,
           but a companion of fools suffers harm.

     

    Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)

     

     15 The way of a fool seems right to him,
           but a wise man listens to advice.

     

    Proverbs 3:7 (NIV)

     

     7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
           fear the LORD and shun evil.

     

    Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

     

     22 Plans fail for lack of counsel,
           but with many advisers they succeed.

     

    Proverbs 21:22 (NIV)

     

     22 A wise man attacks the city of the mighty
           and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.

     

    That last one sounds to me like it is possible to trust the wrong thing (or person).

     

    In the end, it is impossible for one to know it all.  For each of us, there will be burning questions that we are obligated to search out on our own.  I say this:  if it is put upon your heart to search something out, do not just do a cursory search but seek the answers out whole heartedly.  Other things you will be willing to take as teachings from others, but be wary of who you let teach you!  I consider it a burden to be considered a teacher.  They will be judged so much more harshly, and I am sure that my thinking is full of errors.  If I had no errors, I would know it all, and even Solomon did not, so obviously, I have to be wrong somewhere now and again.

     

    What this means is this:  If you have something to challenge my way of thinking or acting, you do us all great harm by not bringing it up.  Me because I will be teaching wrongly, even if it is not my intention to actually teach.  I honestly think I am held accountable to anything a person takes from me as if from a teacher, and that is frightening.  Not enough to make me stop, but enough to make me very serious at times.  And the harm to others, should I be wrong and they follow it as a teaching when they should not.  I shudder to think of it!

     

    I’d rather just be an advisor.  I really don’t think that is going to be my choice to make.  That is beginning to dawn upon me.

     

    Still, choose who you trust well.  For me, I can breath easier if you examine every little weird idea I have.  We all must rely from time to time on the understanding of others.  That is one way we can build each other up.  (maybe, just maybe, that was part of what made what the Bereans did so noble, because it lifted this great burden from a beloved brother's shoulders.  what that would mean is that their scrutiny of what was taught them might have even been seen as an act of love!)

     

    I am rambling now, so I’ll cut it off here.

     

    Trust in Christ and Be Blessed,

     

    Mel

    Comment (3)

    Sun, Aug 6th - 2:58AM

    Please Forgive me for just stringing this all together like this...



    Luke 17:1-2 (NIV)

     

     1Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

     

    1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (NIV)

     31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God33even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

     11:1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

    Mark 9:19 (NIV)

     

     19"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."

     

    1 Corinthians 13:5 (Amplified Bible)

     

    5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

     

    Mark 6:3 (Amplified Bible)

     

    3Is not this the Carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not His sisters here among us? And they took offense at Him and were hurt [that is, they disapproved of Him, and it hindered them from acknowledging His authority] and they were caused to stumble and fall.

     

    James 3:2 (NIV)

    2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

    Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)

     28 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
           and discerning if he holds his tongue.

    2 Corinthians 12:11-15 (NIV)

     11I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing. 12The things that mark an apostle—signs, wonders and miracles—were done among you with great perseverance. 13How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

     14Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?

    Comment (3)

    Fri, Aug 4th - 7:43AM

    Short Answer for Lee...



    Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

     9 What has been will be again,
           what has been done will be done again;
           there is nothing new under the sun.

    Matt 6:34 (NIV)

    34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

    Disscussions of strangeness that gives me goosebumps:

    http://www.theologos.net/intro_bk.shtml

    http://www.thebiblecodes.com/claims/index.htm

    http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/numerolo.htm

    I do not recommend dwelling overly much on this divination of God's Word by means of Numerology.  There are arguements that are made both for and against it.  If you focus on it being likend to witchcraft, stay clear.  If you focus on it being derived from God's Holy Word and that no other book can do what it does, I can not judge you.

    Some of the prophesies do indeed seem to have possible fulfillment in more than one way.  The Numerological analysis of the Bible drops out more predictions and foresight.  I would not worry myself over these things or even pursue them actively.

    In God's point of view, it has already happened.  Today and tommorrow are seen in equal clarity, not as if what is to be, but as to what has already been ordained will happen.

    The wonder of it all!

    Worry about today...

    In Christ,

    Mel



    Comment (4)

    Fri, Aug 4th - 5:35AM

    Just an update about my children and their giving...



    A couple of posts ago, I was trying to share that I think that some teaching about tithing might be flawed.  I was also trying to get across the point that I think that the attitude of giving is much more important than the human laws (they might be God’s laws, but I am not inclined to believe so as it was taught to me) about the structure of giving.  I was not trying to suggest that I wanted people not to give, but rather that I didn’t think God intended for us to be allowed to burden each other with it.  I don’t see that as such an esoteric point, but maybe it is.  My advice is to give as you see fit.  If you see God’s word laying it down to do it one way, than for you to do otherwise is sin.

     

    I have been struggling to give my children 10 dollars each week to give or not give as they see fit.  I have been giving them 1 dollar, right before the offering, for as long as they can probably remember.  That is as I intended.  Notice that I was aiming at my children the 10% tithing rigor that I was trained in.  At times, even 1 dollar apiece was hard to come up with, and at times even, they got only a few coins.  And that bothered me.

     

    Now then, their response was quite surprising to me.  The elder, whom I supposed would make the connection and only give one dollar, has consistently put it all in, despite the fact that her little sister does not and I do not ridicule her for that.  It is a fine line that I have been walking here.  I want to praise her, but I don’t want her to do as she does for my praise.  I also do not want to slight the younger one in any way if I don’t see any wrong in what she does.  Every week has been a new surprise for me, and these last two weeks were no exception.

     

    Two weeks ago, we were one row back from the front.  The children in front of us put nothing in (I am not casting any judgment here – let me make that abundantly clear) and the little one, who has been putting in only one dollar, put 9 in and kept only 1 for herself.  Surprise!  Lylli, the elder, just dropped the wad in.  I patted them both quietly on the head, the younger first, and smiled at them.  No words.  (hard to believe I could do that – and, truthfully, hard for me to do)

     

    Last week was rough.  (if you saw what I drive and what I wear, I think you’d understand immediately)   Before going to Church, Lylli asked me if I had money for them.  Bright and inquisitive as always.  I had 3 dollars and change and felt downcast at that.  She could sense that in my response when I told her I only had about three dollars.  She piped up and told me it was ok for me to only give here one.  She had a quarter of her own she was going to give.  So when we got to church, I gave her two dollars and Jolie one dollar bill and 5 quarters, most of what I had.  Lylli put in the two I gave her and her quarter.  Jolie put in the 1 dollar bill.

     

    Now then, my children are teaching me by their actions.  What lesson do you think they illuminate for me?

     

    I hope this is a blessing and encouragement for those of you who read this.

     

    In Christ,

     

    Mel



    Comment (2)

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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylejr
    Member Since: 2005-09-28
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for 33 years. (now retired) I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me.

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